The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Expected Publication Date: February 25th, 2020 by Harlequin Teen (US & Canada) // Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Summary (from NetGalley): Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for the love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
Review: I don’t know where to start with this one! It took me a bit of time to get into the story, recognize the characters, setting, and understand the alien race/their reasonings of being there. However, that’s typical with a lot of first book, science fiction, YA. I would say Part Two is when the plot really kicked off and stakes became real.
This book goes back and forth between the perspectives of Janelle (“Ellie”) and Morris with little snippets of interviews and quotes from the Starry Eyed (band). It was nice to get the perspectives of each of the characters but I found it got really repetitive really fast which just got annoying and maybe a tad unrealistic? I can see myself acting like Ellie maybe when I was 13 around a crush but not at the age of 17.
What this book has:
- Representation of different genders (male, female, non-binary)
- Representation of different sexual orientations
- Commentary on race
- Commentary on being born vs. artificially made
- Commentary on global warming, climate change, and pollution
- A crap-ton of pop culture references and YA books
I liked closer to the ending when things started making sense. I saw the twist coming closer to halfway through the book but I did love how it brought everything together. I don’t think this book needed to be set up as a sequel however. I would have rather read 100-150 more pages of this story coming to a conclusion. The last 20% was just a set up for a sequel that was disheartening to read because I think this would have been a great stand alone.
Overall, 3 stars. Average book in my opinion but I do see that I am not the target audience and sci-fi / light fantasy young teen fans would enjoy this. I probably won’t continue with the series but I will pick up another book by Dow.
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
** links are unaffiliated